Is it okay to use a preset, from a processing program, on your image and call it your own? I had never thought about this until I took a sunflower bud I shot and brought it into Smart Photo Editor, used their presets and found one I liked. I posted it on Facebook and it got a great deal of attention. One photographer said that it was a great edit. I quickly replied that it was a preset. And, that’s when I began to question whether I could post this as my own. Here is the image as posted.

DSC_8305_peThe composition is mine, the fact that it was a sharp image is my doing, but the ultimate look is not mine. The reality is that I, with my lack of artistic ability, could not complete it this way.

So, what do you think? Is it okay to use a preset and call it your photo?

Now, back to the pictures in this post. We are in San Francisco and are headed to the California Academy of Sciences when they open. I got up early and went down to Fisherman’s Wharf to see what I could shoot along the way. It was fun and got my energy flowing. I have some of those shots to show you. What was amazing were the swimmers out for their morning exercise in freezing cold water. There were also walkers, runners and bikers using the old pier as their exercise ground.

The Academy was amazing, but the parking wasn’t. The only place to park was in their very expensive structure–it cost us about $30 for the day. We had coupons for the Academy admission so that helped with the cost. We did opt for an additional tour, but it was worth it, especially since we were the only ones who went on it. We had a guided tour behind locked doors and were able to walk the roof.

A lot will be explained in captions. It was an all day experience. We left about 4 p.m., stopped to take pictures of house boats to take up the time before dinner. We were trying to avoid traffic. It all worked out, and our drive home was easy. Enjoy the academy through my camera lens! I apologize for the many images, but I didn’t want to make this a three part post.

2 thoughts on “Processing with presets: San Francisco, part 2

  1. Interesting question!! I use sometimes presets, specially when I’m struggling with a photo… but not very often. What I recently did was to create a few presets with the settings I used in a few photos that I edited and I liked the results. The edition is mine then and I can use the same style in a series of photos, making minor adjustments to each photo after applying my preset… save me time and the photos look more coherent together 😉
    In any case, I prefer to edit one by one and if possible, with my own settings!

  2. Thanks Mercedes. I use Silver Efex a lot; however, I usually tweak it once I get it back into Lightroom. I still consider the image mine. However, this was the first time that I used an overlay and didn’t change anything. It was fun, but I’m feeling that I can’t say it’s entirely my image. I’m thinking it’s a personal preference.

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